nl en

A Healthy Society: Health Behaviour, Well-Being and the Role of Stress


Please note: This course is part of the minor Dynamics of a Healthy Society. In 23/24, this minor is only open to students that master the Dutch language.

Admission Requirements

Only open to students that are admitted to the Minor Dynamics of a Healthy Society.


In our health care system the focus is gradually shifting from cure to care in which prevention and well-being play a vital role. In this module we will take a broad perspective on health which includes how to establish a healthy society. Students get acquainted with theoretical models of health behaviour, symptom perception, coping with chronic diseases and population health management. We will especially focus on vulnerability and the role of stress in how health and societal problems cluster within vulnerable populations, such as people with a low socioeconomic position. Students will also learn practical skills to analyze the challenge by developing a process model based on scientific theory and evidence. Finally, students will learn the basics of data analysis with real life data.

Course Objectives

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge of the principles of population health management, disease prevention and health promotion and apply these to various health behaviours.

  • Gain insight into the role of symptom perception and stress in the development of chronic diseases, and the psychosocial consequences of chronic diseases.

  • Understand the dynamics of health inequalities and how societal and health problems cluster in vulnerable populations.

  • Be able to analyze societal challenges and problems based on scientific theory.

  • Be able to conduct a simple quantitative analysis to address a research question with real life data.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Mode of Instruction

  • Lectures

  • Workgroups

  • Online modules on Population health management

Assessment Method


The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading List

This course uses BrightSpace. Students receive a syllabus with all practical information about the minor programme. Course specific information, such as literature and online resources, will be provided by the course coordinators.


This course is only open to students of the Minor Dynamics of a Healthy Society. It is only possible to register for the full minor, not for individual courses. Registration for the minor takes place through eduXchange.


Dr. Coen Wirtz, Leiden University
Dr. Sandra van Dijk, Leiden University
Prof. dr. Marieke Adriaanse, Leiden University